The Obama Surge may still be real, but it has hit the hard rocky shore of the Clinton Campaign in Ohio and Texas. Or has it. I heard an alternative theory explaining the patterning of the election last night that I think is pretty interesting.

This was related by Chris Matthews during election coverage on MSNBC last night, and sorry to say, I did not catch the name of the person who came up with this idea. Simply put, it works like this:

Among typical mostly white Democrats who are working class and middle class, there is a fixed percentage, not a surging or shifting percentage, of support for each candidate (Obama and Clinton). This has been true since early in the primary season, possibly (in my opinion) since after New Hampshire. What we when saw as what appeared to be a swell in support of Obama reflects the geography of certain other demographics.

The demographics are variations in Hispanic and Black voters, and may be some other factions, across the various states. The distribution of support for either of the two candidates is also fixed in these populations, but the representation of Black and Hispanic voters varies more across the different states. So what we are seeing is a simply shift in results by changing demographics as one goes from one state to the next, not a shift in anyone’s opinion.

Right now, according to some experts, while Obama is ahead in delegates, and will remain so, but Clinton can still take the nomination. The details depend on exactly how the Great State of Texas (who put down an insurrection in the School Board last night) allocates delegates. Most likely Obama will win the next couple of primaries with Clinton taking Pennsylvania. After Pennsylvania, Obama will still have more delegates but when we count in the Super Delegates and a few other factors, the convention can still broker a Clinton nomination.

The Clinton campaign is giving all the signals that this may be what they are looking for at this point.

So the following outcomes seem to be possible:

1) Obama is the nominee, and he wins the general election. Or not.

2) Clinton wipes out Obama and takes the nomination by political force, Obama quietly withdraws. Many of the new voters brought into the process by Obama become disaffected with the political system, go away, and never come back. Clinton loses the general election by a few thousand votes.

3) Clinton, positioned to take the nomination by force, deals with Obama and Obama deals back, and we have a Clinton Obama ticket this year, a Clinton Obama ticket in four years, an Obama Somebody ticket in 8 years, and an Obama Somebody ticket in 12 years. The democrats, with a much larger body of support from independents to join the party, Rino’s who come to the party, and all these new voters who have jumped on the Obama bandwagon, keep the Democrats in power in the House and Senate, and we go back to a one party system for 16 years. Having learned a number of lessons from the past couple of decades, the Democrats do an incredibly good job of governing. Election decisions are once again made at the primary level in the Democratic party rather than in the general election, except in a few staunchly Republican states, which slowly lose more and more Federal support and eventually dry up and blow away. The Global Warming Crisis is solved, the Evolution-Creation debate becomes moot, the deficit is eliminated and the Republican Debt is paid off, taxes lowered, higher education made accessible, public transit becomes the primary way people get around between home and their jobs. And everybody who wants a job has one.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    March 5, 2008

    And a pony!

  2. #2 Maria
    March 5, 2008

    While I’m not a Hillary supporter, I think it’s unfair to say that a highly contested election where she manages to win the nomination would “draw people away” from the process and eventually lose the race. If Hillary wins, Obama should support her openly, regardless of whether he is her running mate.

    Or should Hillary just withdraw altogether because she lost in some states? This is still an open race. And I hope Obama wins it.

  3. #3 J-Dog
    March 5, 2008

    Unicorn! And lots of rainbows and balloons!

    ps: Coturnix – I am surprised you did not suggest the Democratic White Knight Strategy: The convention is deadlocked, tempers have flared, when someone, call him John Edwa5rds, comes to the rescue as the Dem Candidate.

    THEN, we all get ponies, or unicorns and balloons! And then you get to tell me :”I told you so”. I know that you want to.

  4. #4 Hank Roberts
    March 5, 2008

    I think the key is to appeal to the illiterate voters.

    Imagine the bumpersticker:

    Gore Obama

    Illustration, a raging bull chasing after some guy in a robe with a big bushy beard ….

    I mean, the key is to confuse the hell out of people, right?

  5. #5 Jimmy
    March 5, 2008

    ..and we go back to a one party system for 16 years.

    Even if it’s the Democrats, this is the single most terrifying idea I have ever seen. As nice as it would be to see all of the above problems solved, I don’t think that the Democrats are immune to the typical political diseases of corruption and incompetence. There should always be an effective opposition, to take control when the party in power begins to get stupid, and at minimum to keep the ruling party honest.

  6. #6 AtheistAcolyte
    March 5, 2008

    Jimmy-
    The problem I see with that in a two-party system is a completely bipolar national personality. Just think of the administrative difference between Bush and Clinton or Obama.

    I, for one, would love to see both the Dem and Rep parties implode into several fractured parties, where coalitions are formed during primaries to present a few nominees for national selection.

    I’d also like to see an instant runoff system, which naturally favors underdog candidates.

    Then again, I’m just a foaming-at-the-mouth liberal. :-)

  7. #7 Jimmy
    March 5, 2008

    Implosion I wouldn’t mind; it’s just the idea of a single dominating party that scares me. I’ve never voted for a Republican, actually, but there are enough powerful-and-crazy Democrats that I’m always more comfortable seeing them there on the ballot. Having alternatives is always good.

    I’d be even happier if we could find some way to eliminate political parties entirely, and all operate as informed self-reasoning voters relative to completely independent candidates who form alliances of convenience… but that really would be hoping for the impossible, not to mention the unconstitutional (freedom of association). :)

  8. #8 Dunkleosteus
    March 6, 2008

    So the following outcomes seem to be possible…

    My crystal ball tells the correct answer is (2). McCain will be the next president. Except a massive media hype/smear campaign before the elections.

    Having alternatives is always good.

    Unfortunately, differences between the three are more superficial than real, at least if you listen their foreign policy views. None of them are against war per se, exactly opposite. Anyone who wants to keep nuclear weapons on the table against a non-nuclear country is insane and should not qualify as president. Of any country.